A woman, known for her passion for numerous plastic surgeries, which changed her appearance beyond recognition, extreme extravagance, eccentric behavior and unusual style in clothes - the Duchess of Alba (photo we will present in the review) quite often became the heroine of not only secular chronicles, but also various scandalous publications.


To describe in detail the history of the ancient aristocratic family, to which the 17th Duchess of Alba belongs, it will take more than one hundred pages. And briefly, he takes his origin in 1429, when King Juan II of Spain gave a large estate called Alba de Tormes to Don Gutierre de Toledo for his faithful service. Since the owner of the estate did not have his children, his nephew became the heir - Garcia de Toledo, he is also the first Duke of Alba. Soon he became related to the Spanish royal house - his wife was his aunt Ferdinand II of Aragon, who was nicknamed the Catholic King.

For several centuries the number of regalia due to numerous marriages has increased so much that the total number of official titles has approached to fifty. This fact is listed in the Guinness Book of Records. The Duchess of Alba is of such a noble origin that the English Queen Elizabeth II must pass her first and make a curtsey in her presence. Also, Caetana does not have to go down on her knees even before the Pope himself.

Duchess Alba: biography and personal life (photo)

The birth of a daughter

The XVII Duke of Alba dreamed of his heir all his life, but on March 28, 1926 in the Spanish capital, in the Princess Street, in the palace of Liria, he had a daughter named Cayetana (her full name Maria del Rosario Cayetana Alfonsa Victoria Eugenia Francisco Fitz-James Stewart de Silva). At this time in the house stayed Ortega y Gasset and Gregorio Maranyon. They witnessed this event.

At that time, the Duke of Alba turned 48 years old. It was clear that Don Jacobo would have no more sons, and it was not the duke's solid age at all. The blame for everything is his wife's tuberculosis, which developed some time after the birth of the child. It is worth noting that then this disease was considered fatal. To protect the girl from possible infection, she was not allowed not only to approach her mother, but also to go to that part of the palace where the apartments of the dying duchess were located. Mother died when Caetana turned 8 years old.

The baptism of the heiress of the genus de Alba was truly a great event for the Spanish aristocracy. This is evidenced by the fact that the godparents were the Spanish royal couple - Alfonso XIII and Victoria-Eugenia, and the whole court appeared for the celebration. In connection with the revolutionary events in the country, the autocrats will soon be expelled, and the Duchess Alba, like her family, will remain faithful and respectful to monarchs for life.

First love

Around the young and fantastically rich titled heiress of the fans of blue blood was more than enough, and they all vied with each other to offer her their hand and heart. By the way, among the potential applicants was the nephew of the great Russian writer - Count Tolstoy. But the Cayetians did not like the subtle aristocrats. She preferred the brave torero and flamenco performers. Therefore it is not surprising that a very nice 17-year-old girl, namely such was the Duchess Alba in her youth, fell in love for the first time with the matador Pepe Luis Vasquez.

Don Jacobo, as expected, was dissatisfied with the behavior of his daughter. And after some thought he sent her back to London, where they lived together before that. The fact is that after the expulsion of the monarchs, the duke served as ambassador to Great Britain and was compelled, in spite of his monarchical convictions, to defend the Franco regime. With the dictator, he had very strained relations. The history of hostility began with the fact that don Jakobo refused to organize the first joint release of their daughters. Franco, of course, did not forgive him such arrogance. When the disgraced King of Spain urged his supporters to leave the service of the dictator, Duke Alba returned with his daughter to Madrid.

First marriage

In early 1946, Cayetana met Luis Martinez de Irujo, his future husband. He was the son of the Duke of Sotomayorsky and was a worthy candidate for the role of husband of the wealthy heiress of the genus Alba. A year and a half later, in Sevil, the "last feudal wedding" was played, as its historians called it, pursuing dynastic interests and, moreover, luxurious to indecency. Judge for yourself, the organization of this event was spent 20 million pesetas, which corresponds to the current rate of 3.5 million euros. And this is in a hungry country! The wedding was so sumptuous that the wedding of the future Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, celebrated a month later, looked completely colorless against her background.


When don Jacobo dies in 1953, the Duchess of Alba becomes the full head of an aristocratic house. Now that she has completely freed herself from the strict pressure of her father, Cayetana decides to live the way she wants to - arrange luxurious balls, dance her favorite flamenco and have fun at the bullfight.

In 1959, the palace de Liria was completely restored, heavily damaged during the bombings. By the way, Duchess Alba in her youth (see photo above) was a very pretty woman and dressed with taste. She could be called the legislator of Spanish fashion. Therefore, the first defile of Yves Saint Laurent was organized exactly in her palace. The show was attended by the entire elite of Spain, which caused a real sensation not only in the country, but also abroad.

After some time in the genus Alba, a new tragedy occurs - the duke-consort gets sick with leukemia. Caetana decides to keep the burden of the disease secret from both children and himself. Luis Martinez until the very last days knew nothing about his terrible diagnosis. In 1972, he died in a terrible agony. Twenty-five years of marriage came to an end.


Children of the Duchess of Alba, and there were six of them - five sons and a daughter - were all born in this marriage. But still this claim is controversial, since at one time there were persistent rumors that the fourth son of Cayetana, Fernando, is not a child of Luis Martinez. His fatherhood is attributed to the great flamenco dancer Antonio El Bailarin, whom the duchess had allegedly had a long and passionate connection with. Cayetana, of course, denied everything, but before his death, Antonio wrote his autobiographical book, where he personally confirmed his paternity. Check with the help of the test, this statement was not possible, since all materials were published after his death. Therefore this harsh story was hastily hushed up.

The Second Marriage

But Cayetana was not very upset. She did her best to change her opinion about her husband to others, and she succeeded. In the end, even the children, who were extremely hostile, began to treat him as their own father. Very quickly Aguirre succeeded in all previously neglected affairs of the genus Alba not only to put in order, but also to return to him the once-lost financial well-being.

But this was not the main thing. Jesus managed to make his wife happy. He confessed her love every day. The happy marriage of Cayetana lasted 23 years, until the doctors found Agirre's cancer larynx. The second husband of the Duchess of Alba died in 2001. The shock of the loss was so strong that her fingers were taken from her right hand. As a result, I had to forget the passion for drawing forever.

Third marriage

Everyone expected that the Duchess of Alba (photo of her are in the article) will finally calm down and devote the rest of her life to communication with her grandchildren. But instead she went to Ibiza and, wearing a semi-transparent robe and a few bracelets on her ankles, rested on the beach, thereby defying women much younger than her.

For two years, since 2007, she suffered three rather complicated operations that adversely affected not only her appearance, but also her health in general - because of illness, the duchess became ill and incompetent to speak and constantly move her jaws. But everyone knew that she had an inordinate thirst for life, so few were surprised when Cayetana had another fan.

Alfonso Diès was a simple official, besides, he was 24 years younger than his chosen one. He was not considered as an outstanding personality, so the press began looking for "skeletons in the closet." Soon she found something intriguing from Dies' private life. On one of the TV channels, his former lover, Jose Luis Gomez, gave an interview and told about their homosexual relations and about what it would be ridiculous to expect Alfonso to show sincere feelings for an elderly woman. In response to such charges, Dies sued journalists and won this case. For moral damage he was paid 50 thousand euros.


Ignoring the rumors, Cayetana decided to marry a third time. Naturally, the children discouraged her from such a reckless step. They even wanted to declare it incompetent, but before that it never came, because the king himself stood up for her. According to the protocol, Spanish grandees can only marry after the permission of the monarch. Juan Carlos gave his consent, but only after the Duchess transferred all her titles and property to children and grandchildren, and Alfonso Diès refused the inheritance.

The most titled aristocrat died

The Duchess of Alba, whose biography was something happy, then tragic, lived a long and interesting life. Her friends were the Queen of Great Britain Elizabeth II and Jacqueline Kennedy. She published two books of memoirs, detailing her life and personal relationships.

Before her death, she went to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmia and pneumonia. The 88-year-old woman could no longer bear the disease. The Duchess of Alba died on November 20, 2014.